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Underground Railroad in Usa

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Essay title: Underground Railroad in Usa


The Underground Railroad, the pathway to freedom which led a numerous amount of African Americans to escape beginning as early as the 1700‘s, it still remains a mystery to many as to exactly when it started and why. (Carrasco). The Underground Railroad is known by many as one of the earliest parts of the antislavery movement. Although the system was neither underground nor a railroad, it was a huge success that will never be forgotten.

I chose to research the Underground Railroad because I have heard so much about it, but my knowledge about the subject was very minimal. I found the Underground Railroad very interesting at first. The more I learned about this movement, the more interested I became.

When I chose this topic, I was interested in learning about the entire movement in general. I wanted to learn more about the locations of the slave hideouts, and who was involved. I wanted to find what led to the start of this movement, and when it started. I was successful with my research, and learned about all the things I was hoping to find. The Underground Railroad was a remarkable pathway to freedom which freed many from slave states and left behind an incredible story to show the importance of this event to history today.


First of all, the impact of the Underground Railroad has helped form America's legacy like no other event in our nation's former times. (Dewine par. 4). No one knows exactly when it started, but there were definitely advanced cases of help given to runaways as early as the 1700's. (Carrasco). Slaves had more than one reason for turning to freedom. Most were scared of being parted from friends and family, but some just wanted to live a normal life. Some slaves had it so bad that they had to escape just to stay alive.

There are several different myths as to where this legendary path to freedom got its name. Some say the name probably originated from the popularity of the new railroads. (Carrasco). Other people say it was called the Underground Railroad because of the swift, secret way in which slaves escaped. (Donald par. 1).

The Underground Railroad began in the 1700's under Quaker support. The activity gained recognizable fame after the 1830's. (Underground). Details of escaped slaves were highly exposed and overstated in the North and South. (The Columbia). The phrase ‘Underground Railroad' was first divulged during the early 1840's. (The Columbia). Other railroad terms were soon added.

There was no specific location for the Underground Railroad because of the fact that the members collaborated and traveled all over the country bound for freedom. The various paths to freedom led through the North East and Mid West to Canada, and headed South to Mexico or Florida. The final destination point for the trip would be the Caribbean Islands. For over 100 years the landmarks of the Underground Railroad have perished in dimness. (Mallory par. 2,4). Several buildings standing today during that time served as stations. This movement was a free group of antislavery northerners, mostly blacks, that illegally helped runaway slaves find security in the free states or Canada before the Civil War. (Underground).

Not only did the Underground Railroad have a huge impact on history, one of the most questioning characteristics of the Underground Railroad was its lack of formal organization. (Carrasco). When possible, conductors met at border points in Cincinnati Ohio, Wilmington Delaware, lake ports of Detroit, Sandusky Ohio, Erie Pennsylvania, and Buffalo New York. These were all locations for a quick escape to Canada. (Underground).

The Underground Railroad created a very clever way of communication with the slaves on the journey. They created so called "code words" by using railroad terms for their secret organization to protect the fugitives and other people involved. (Donald par. 1). For example, slaves were referred to as passengers. Guides were known as conductors, and homes were called stations. (The Columbia).

A successful escape was usually less the product of coordinated assistance and more a matter of the runaways resourcefulness and a great deal of luck. (The Reader‘s). The Underground Railroad was an accordance of trails through the woods and fields, river crossings, boats and ships, trains and wagons, all fearing recapture. (Carrasco). All railroad lines headed North from Southern plantations to stations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Canada. (The Underground). Railways were made up of back roads, water ways, mountains, forests, and swamps. (Dewine). Slaves main escape destinations on their way to freedom were either in the Northern states or Canada. (The Reader‘s).

The slaves would travel by whatever

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